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Ask the Reader: Should you close your launch?

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Today’s post is a bit different – I wanted to start a conversation about closing and not closing your launch – and why you might do one or the other depending on what you’re launching. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

If you’re planning your launch – maybe you’re in the middle of one right now – you probably have several dates listed out or planned that you consider set in stone.

One of those set in stone dates might be your close date. The date that you stop offering your product for sale. You know from seeing other people do launches that you need to close – or so you think.

But – there is another option you may want to consider – not closing.  Opening on a specific date and then never publishing or releasing a CLOSE date.

What’s right for your launch?

Benefits of Having A Hard Close Date Your Launch

  • Helps people going through the content form a sense of community
  • Helps you with the overall housekeeping for the program – keeps all affiliate payouts and refund periods close together
  • Encourages people to buy when you want and need them to!
  • Encourages more of a special –  launch + event mentality – people will look forward to your program – and even look forward to your launch
  • You can have a limited bonus offer for people buy during your launch dates

It’s proven marketing strategy that tells you to have a hard close date – build anticipation, then make people feel the scarcity and “oh no, I better get this before it’s gone”.  This is a great option if you don’t want a lot of housekeeping – you don’t have a dedicated affiliate manager or customer service person.

Benefits of NOT closing your launch

  • People don’t feel pressured – and you’ll get ongoing sales instead of just a surge at the specific time of the launch
  • People will focus on your open date and when they can START as opposed to that closed date – you focus on anticipation rather than scarcity
  • You get to keep adding people to your customer list – you don’t have to turn down sales
  • You don’t burn people out with your launch message – because it’s more of an ongoing launch
  • You can still offer a bonus or something special, but you may need to re-word the “how long” it’s available

Not closing on a set date can mean a few different things:
- > not closing – keeping sales open indefinitely
- > closing but not announcing it

Not closing can work in your favor if you don’t get enough sales and/or you have a small list.  You might even trigger people thinking they have missed out – you’ll get emails that say things like – Did you close yet? Can I still get the program? Can I still sign up?

So should you close or not close?

I love it when people ask me to tell them what to do.

Here’s the deal though – you can make either of these options work.  It depends on your audience, their buying habits, how they like to consume content, if they are part of your industry or you are a service based business, and many other reasons that all boil down to you knowing how your peeps respond to your marketing.

So think about your audience.  Think about their buying needs. Think about what you are offering.

Think of some reasons why you might want to set a specific closing date and for staying open indefinitely…

Leave a comment below and let’s get this conversation started.

I’m curious why you might do one or the other and if you’ve done one or both of these options.

image credit: bmills

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{ 6 comments… read them below }

  1. Kat September 11, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    Good one, Anne.

    Of course more questions than answers here, as well should be, because it all depends.

    An ongoing thing can definitely boost your mailing list, while having a hard close date with even a small list can help with the cache and overall perceived valued of the program. I’ve never been so bummed as when I see “CLOSED” on a program.

    I also think each person’s overall brand strategy and voice will dictate the way in which THEIR course/launch/etc. will be perceived by others.

    It’s really a conversation where one needs to weight the odds…

    • annesamoilov September 11, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      I agree Kat! I think the types of programs that can launch but continue to be open are a mix of evergreen/semi-live programs. Maybe the program itself is available all the time, but only at specific times of the year there are live classes to go along with the program.

      I personally like closing loops… BUT I think you can do a more PUSH launch every now and then to renew interest in your project…

      And – I’ve just been watching the huge differences in how people like to be talked to – some don’t want the 2 weeks of intense launch emails – some want the announcement, maybe reminders that don’t feel pushy, and more of an organic feel that allows the person to choose to consume the information.

      This one topic is the reason why I hate to hear people following a blueprint, no 2 audiences are the same just like no 2 people are the same. Am I right?

      And – it’s all about the conversation – you need to really understand where you are in this with the people following you. Without it – you can’t make the right decision.

      So cool to see you here Kat – thanks for stopping by!

  2. katie September 12, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    Hi!

    Great topic! The one thing that I dislike about the close date is that often times it is kept open because–oops—there was a glitch–or oops–so many people are emailing now. I end up wondering why there was a close date in the first place!

    Cheers,

    Katie

    • annesamoilov September 15, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      I think another way to “close” is if you have a course starting at a specific time. Focus on that being the date people need to get in by – otherwise they miss out. I also don’t like the fake closes, fake re-opens…

  3. Rachel September 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    I am running a live 12 week program that is on a schedule, so I really need a hard close date, however, this really is my first launch. My list is small. My timeframe is short. There is a hard product that I am sending out in the mail and I want them to have it before we start on October 1.

    I did a half ass launch of my member zone that had no end or real start for that matter. I had so many issues with the website guy fixing things that I had to keep moving the date.

    I finally just decided to do these open and close launches instead of the open member thing.

    I am really new to this, so I am happy to read this post. Makes me feel like it’s okay to be trying different things.

    Good info – thank you!

  4. Joyce M Washington September 18, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    totally thought provoking and makes you (me) want to make my own rules. I mean why does one “have” to close?